Two Brevard schools win national awards. Schools will be honored in Washington, D.C.
BY MEGAN DOWNS • FLORIDA TODAY • September 16, 2009
Two Brevard schools were named 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence on Tuesday, the top national award for quality education.
Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High and Ralph M. Williams Elementary in Viera received the accolade after finishing in the top 10 percentile on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, making adequate yearly progress and meeting other standards of high performance after a lengthy self-nominating process.
"It is evident that these schools are committed to student achievement and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure success," Superintendent Brian Binggeli said.
Twelve schools in Florida received the honor this year from the U.S. Department of Education.
"We had a committee that worked really hard on this application," Cocoa Beach Principal Tim Cool said. "We have fantastic students and staff here that work really hard, so that makes for a good combination. We met or exceeded all requirements for the Blue Ribbon application."
The Blue Ribbon honors schools that have helped students excel at high levels and schools that have worked to close the achievement gap between white students and minorities.
These schools serve as models for other schools throughout the nation. There are now 20 of these private and public schools in Brevard County.
Three schools -- Ascension Catholic School in Melbourne, Holy Name of Jesus in Indialantic and Gemini Elementary in Melbourne Beach -- received the award twice.
Some Blue Ribbons also are given to schools that showed dramatic improvement where 40 percent or more of their students come from low-income families. No Brevard schools received the award in that category this year.
Last year, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High and Freedom 7 Elementary received the award.
In November, the schools will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., where they will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their status.
Later in the year the schools will have a celebration for students and staff.
Contact Downs at 242-3549 or email@example.com